The British Ambassador (Halifax) to the Acting Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Acheson: I have had a message from the Prime Minister about the food situation, which was considered by the Cabinet yesterday. His Majesty’s Government desire to charge the Lord President of the Council (Mr. Herbert Morrison) with a mission to the President to explain the limit of our ability to meet the present grave crisis and to explore with him and his advisers how best we can together meet the situation.

The problem is acute in three areas apart from those for which UNRRA is responsible, i.e., Western Zones of Germany, India and the old S.E.A.C. area, and in each area unless additional supplies are provided at once famine will occur. At least in the case of Germany and India the political implications of this would be of the gravest possible character.
The Lord President will be prepared to make the fullest disclosure to the United States Government of the expected supplies, requirements and stock position of the United Kingdom and the three areas specified above. He would propose to leave for the United States of America on May 10th or 11th by air accompanied by officials of the Departments concerned.
I should be grateful if you would enquire whether the proposed mission would be welcome to the President. If so, His Majesty’s Government suggest that a public announcement should be made forthwith.

Yours sincerely,